Competition no. 244: results

This one is every judge’s nightmare. On the same theme as 243, Gerald Barry, no less, asks for (a fragment of) an ode on the subject of Belisha beacons – ‘Ode to a Belisha beacon: that it be not cast down’, from which we get the information that they were much-mocked. But a slip in the process of getting the NS&N type-set has meant that the word ‘not’ had been omitted. Various familiar compers have set about an onslaught on the Belisha beacon, with only one or two spotting (and apparently with feeble results) that the opposite was intended (‘a sorry crop of the facetiously forcibe-feeble’). It is to Barry’s credit that he gets an entertaining few paragraphs out of the debacle. Beacon However, in batting away William Bliss, Lester Ralph, Allan M. Laing,  Guy Hadley, W. Summers and Marion Peacock, and cancelling the second prize, Barry does select a winner: Audrey Brodhurst. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Audrey Cecilia Brodhurst was born in Birmingham (Harborne) in 1912, and died in Islington in 2005. She went to Oxford (Somerville) in 1930 or 1931, and Somerville has a manuscript which I assume covers or includes material on being a woman and an Oxford student (it is used as source material by Jane Robinson for her book ‘Bluestockings’). She seem to have been a historian with a special interest in revolutionary France. Her father was a civil servant in Birmingham. In the 1950s and 1960s she lived in very select Dolphin Square.

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